At our Dallas LASIK office, we encounter a lot of LASIK myths. Since the decision to have surgery is always worthy of serious consideration, we believe it’s very important to important to be armed with the facts, in order to make a quality decision and know what to expect from the procedure. Unfortunately, those considering LASIK are often bombarded with misinformation, as there are a wealth of LASIK myths and untruths circulated through word-of-mouth. Here, we dispel the myths and set the record straight:
- Myth 1- LASIK is a new procedure, and the long term effects are unproven. This is patently false, as laser vision correction has been performed for over fifteen years, and the principles behind it have been in existence for over fifty! Millions of people have had LASIK with a limited number of serious complications.
- Myth 2- LASIK is painful. The procedure itself is painless. Your eye will be numbed with anesthetic drops, and the worst thing you will feel is some light pressure. After the procedure, patients report feeling as if they have grit or an eyelash in the eye for a few hours. Your doctor will prescribe a pain reliever, but the discomfort can usually be managed with over the counter pain medicines, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Myth 3- The laser might mess up during laser vision correction. The advanced excimer lasers used in LASIK procedures are designed to focus on a specific point, through a tracking system. Even if the patient’s eye moves during the procedure, the laser will stay accurately focused.
- Myth 4- My vision won’t improve. Visual improvement is almost immediate with LASIK. Most patients report that major fluctuations in vision subside after about two weeks, though there may be some minor visual aberrations for a while, particularly at night.
- Myth 5-LASIK surgery needs to be redone every few years. Only a very small number of patients (around 3%) need to return for “fine tuning” of their LASIK. For most people, the improvement in vision is permanent.
- Myth 6- There’s a high risk of blindness and other complications with LASIK. LASIK is one of the safest elective procedures performed in the United States today, with a complication rate of less than one percent. There has never been a documented case of blindness caused by LASIK.
For patients considering vision correction, it’s comforting to know that LASIK is a safe and effective procedure. It is still very important, though, to find the right doctor to perform the surgery. Your eyes are two of the most important organs in your body, and researching surgeons carefully is crucial in your decision making process. In the hands of a capable physician, LASIK can be extremely beneficial and almost risk free.